Category Archives: Press Releases

Press Releases

Minister Ross announces additional Funding for New Safety Measures for Cyclists

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross T.D. today confirmed an additional €400,000 of funding  is being made available to Dublin City Council for investment in cycling safety infrastructure.

Speaking at today’s announcement Minister Ross commented –

“I want to encourage more people to cycle and I realise that safety is a concern to many, so I am continuing to invest in safety measures for cyclists. This €400,000 will improve safety for cyclists at 40 key junctions across Dublin City Centre and is a great example of my Department and the National Transport Authority working with local authorities to improve cycling and walking infrastructure generally.”

This investment will be used to  fund Dublin City Council’s installation of  smart cyclist detection equipment at 40 key junctions around Dublin. This new traffic management feature aims to make busy junctions safer for cyclists by using smart technology to regulate traffic more effectively. In particular these measures will help alleviate concerns of cyclists regarding collisions and crossing times at busy junctions.

Minister Ross stated: “This funding is in addition to the €110million I have already secured for the development of cycling and walking infrastructure across the country over the next 4 years. Furthermore, significant investment is planned under the BusConnects programme in Dublin, which will deliver around 200km of, where possible, segregated cycle paths.”

The Department is also a key sponsor of Velo-City 2019 and is working closely with Dublin City Council (DCC), who will host the event.  The Minister said “I am delighted to support this prestigious event and look forward to welcoming the conference, delegates and sponsors back to Dublin in June of next year.”

The Minister also wished the NTA’s Smarter Travel Team success for their ‘Reboot your Commute’ campaign that is launching tomorrow and thanked the National Transport Authority and DCC for their continued commitment to improving infrastructure.

Cyclist.ie Budget 2019 #Allocate4Cycling

Cyclist.ie wants the Government to tackle Climate Change, our Health Crisis, and get better value for taxpayers’ money, by prioritising investing in cycling. Below is a Summary of Cyclist.ie’s submission to Finance for Budgetary Consideration.

This is a summary; this is the Full Submission

We are calling for 10% of Ireland’s Land Transport Budget to be spent on Cycling

10 Reasons to Prioritise Investment in Cycling

  1. It provides excellent value for money and addresses numerous government policies
  2. Helps tackle congestion
  3. Helps people get the exercise they need, improves public health, and saves money for the Health Service
  4. Can improve psychological well-being
  5. Will improve safety for cyclists and for other vulnerable road users
  6. Can help us meet our Climate Change Obligations
  7. Doesn’t’ generate air or noise pollution
  8. Can create better public places
  9. Offers an affordable mobility option for all
  10. Can boost local economic activity

What is the current situation?

  1. Cycling gets about 2% of the land transport budget and this has fallen in recent years
  2. 15 cyclists were killed on Irish roads in 2017 as a result of a collision involving a motorist. That is, the highest number in a decade
  3. Transport accounts for 20% of Ireland’s overall emissions
  4. Car dependence imposes significant economic costs on Irish society. The cost of congestion in the Greater Dublin Area was €358m in 2012 and is continuing to rise. The cost of congestion for all of Ireland was roughly €1.8bn
  5. The average cost of running a family car for a year in Ireland is approx €10,700
  6. The Healthy Ireland Framework and the National Physical Activity Plan recognise the importance of active travel to improve the health and well-being of the population
  7. The DTTAS Strategic Investment Priorities for Land Investment Policy states we must tackle urban congestion through improving walking and cycling
  8. The UN Environment Programme calls for 20% of transport funding to be spent on walking and cycling

Cyclist.ie’s Budget Priority Recommendations

Prioritise Investment in High Quality Safe Cycling Infrastructure

  • 10% of the Land Transport Budget to be invested in high quality cycling infrastructure. Expedite the Development of strategic cycling infrastructure projects. All planned primary and secondary cycle routes in major towns and cities and all projects in the GDA Cycle Network Plan to be completed as soon as possible
  • Cycling to be integrated into the transport system for all major public transport projects
  • All planned transport infrastructure including new roads, road upgrades junction design to take account of cycling, and comply with the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets (DMURS) and The National Cycling Manual
  • Increase projected funding for Rural Greenways, especially those close to settlements and gathering points

Set up a dedicated National Cycling Office

  • DTTAS to appoint a National Cycling Officer at senior level who will head a National Cycling Office to promote and coordinate cycling development across Government Departments and nationally
  • Dedicated cycling officers to be appointed in every local authority to promote and coordinate cycling development locally

Invest in Safety and Awareness

  • Cycle Training to be available in all primary and secondary schools free of charge, and expansion of Cycle Training to 3rd level students and all adults
  • Increase in monetary fines for motoring offences impacting on cyclists, currently €60 whereas €80 for other offences
  • Introduction of fresh cycle friendly legislative initiatives to promote growth of cycling, including Safe Passing Distance, Contraflow Cycling, Left turn at red lights, Joint use of pedestrian and zebra crossings, and Cycle Priority Streets
  • Resourcing and training of Garda in cycle related legislation, and ‘Bike Start’ training to be introduced into the Garda College. Resourcing of greater levels of Garda enforcement of bike related vehicle offences
  • Taxi drivers to undergo Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) standard certification to ensure their skills are brought up to PSO standard
  • Extension of the Bike to Work scheme

Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, is the umbrella organisation for cycling advocacy groups in Ireland and is the Irish member of ECF, the European Cyclists’ Federation

Full submission

CONTACT: Colm Ryder, Chairperson – Tel 0872376130 – Email

Motorists Urged to Give Cyclists the Space to Ride Safe

  • Minister, RSA and Gardaí seriously concerned about increase in cyclist fatalities as popularity of cycling increases dramatically in recent years
  • 6 cyclists have died in 2018 compared to 4 cyclists up to the same period last year
  • 2017 saw 50% increase in cyclist fatalities
  • Cyclists also advised to take steps to ensure their safety on the roads
  • 15 road deaths over May Bank Holiday crashes in past five years

Mr. Shane Ross TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána today called on drivers to slow down and keep a safe distance when overtaking cyclists on both urban and rural roads. This call comes following serious concerns over the number of cyclists killed on Irish roads this year.

To date in 2018, a total of 6 cyclists have died compared to 4 cyclist deaths up to the same period last year. This follows a 50% increase in cyclist fatalities in 2017. In response the RSA launched an awareness campaign in early March to educate drivers of the need to leave a safe distance when overtaking cyclists. The RSA recommends that drivers allow at least one metre overtaking distance when passing cyclists in speed zones up to 50km/hour and at least 1.5 metres when passing at speeds above 50km/hour.

Mr. Shane Ross TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, said: “As Minister for Transport, I am committed to introducing regulations to mandate safe overtaking distances when passing cyclists in order to reduce the number of cycling deaths on our roads. Whether cycling for leisure or to commute, cycling has many health and environmental benefits and we need to actively support people who choose to travel that way. But every year there are several cycling fatalities on Irish roads and almost a thousand cyclists injured. One fatal road tragedy is one too many.  In 2017, there were 15 cyclists killed on our roads; a 50% increase on 2016. This is unacceptable and I hope that the introduction of the Minimum Passing Distance (MPD) will contribute positively to the safety of cyclists on our roads.

Ms Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said: “We are using the opportunity of the May Bank Holiday weekend to remind drivers to always allow safe passing distances for cyclists. We are very concerned about the increase in cycling fatalities and serious injuries across both 2017 and 2018 to date. As the weather improves and cycling continues to grow in popularity we will see more cyclists on our roads and the risks will increase. To protect cyclists we have launched a major road safety awareness campaign this year, asking motorists to pass cyclists at a safe distance and we are also investing in safe cycling training to teach both children and adults proper cycling skills. Last year the RSA invested €353,885 in cyclist safety awareness campaigns and cycling training nationwide.”

Assistant Commissioner, David Sheahan, Garda National Roads Policing Unit, said: “We are calling on drivers to heed their speed, slow down and keep their eyes on the road. It is important to be conscious of cyclists at junctions, particularly when turning left, to check the various driver blind spots and allow plenty of space when overtaking a cyclist. Our message for cyclists is to realise that the rules of the road apply to them also. This means not cycling on footpaths, not weaving in and out of traffic, stopping at traffic lights and signalling your intent when turning left or right.”

Mr Phil Skelton of the ‘Staying Alive at 1.5’ campaign said, “I am delighted to see the RSA safe passing ad so prominently displayed on our national media. Anecdotally, we are hearing of safer interactions between bicycle riders and motorists as a result. We look forward to this message becoming prominent in the next edition of the Rules of the Road, due out shortly, where it can become part of driver training.”

“Unfortunately 2018 has seen 6 bicycle riders die on our roads and this is the unacceptable face of road safety.  May of last year was the most lethal for bicycle riders with 4 fatalities in that month alone. I would appeal to other road users to be extra vigilant of our vulnerable road users.”

A total of 55 people have died on the roads to date in 2018. This represents an increase of one death compared to last year.

Liz O’Donnell (RSA) criticises tiny minority of rural TDs, who are delaying the passage of vital lifesaving road safety legislation

Cyclist.ie strongly supports the view of the Road Safety Authority, as stated yesterday by its Chair Ms. Liz O’Donnell, in relation to the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill, 2017 before the Oireachtas Transport Committee, where she called as ‘disgraceful and self-serving’ the behaviour and tactics employed by a tiny minority of rural TDs, who are delaying the passage of vital lifesaving road safety legislation.

Vulnerable road users (VRUs), in particular, need certainty that the driver behind the wheel is not impaired or distracted at all times. The new penalty set out in the Bill will focus the minds of those who continue to believe that it is safe to drink and then drive with a pint or two imbibed. Six people who cycle did not return home so far this year from their journey

Rural deputies need to reflect on the fact that a disproportionate number (8 out of 15) of cyclists died on rural roads in Ireland in 2017. The filibustering deputies need to look at the mote-in-the-eye: Co. Kerry: 3, Co. Cork: 3, Co. Mayo: 1

Chair of Cyclist.ie, Colm Ryder says: “The deputies filibustering on the passage of the Bill should face the fact that people are dying on our roads due to people driving under the influence, and unlicensed drivers driving unaccompanied. Cyclist.ie strongly supports the proposed Road Traffic Amendment Bill 2017 in its entirety, and urges our legislators to ratify it as soon as possible in order to save lives”.

Surely new politics has its focus on enhanced road safety for all road users and not delaying the introduction of life-saving regulations.

Further information: Colm Ryder: 087-237 6130; Mike McKillen: 087-2314 613

Cyclist.ie backs Sugar Tax

Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network backs support by Dr Donal O Shea for the introduction of a Sugar Tax

In response to a claim by the Irish Beverage Council (IBC) that ‘a sugar tax would not work’, Dr Donal O Shea, Ireland’s leading expert in the field of obesity, has come out strongly against IBC’s claims, but also stressing (as reported in today’s Irish Times) that there are multiple ‘separate drivers of obesity, and no single measure will be effective on its own’.

Cyclist.ie, and its European partner, the European Cyclists Federation (ECF) have long stressed the need for a multi-pronged approach to the issue of growing obesity levels in Irish society. One significant, and internationally recognised, approach to support the introduction of a Sugar Tax, is to actively plan for greater levels of physical activity. Ireland’s National Physical Activity Plan launched late last year emphasises the urgency of this task, as only 1 in 4 of 9year olds are meeting the required daily activity recommended. This is a health time bomb coming down the tracks!

Everyday cycling and walking has a vital part to play in pushing up levels of physical activity, and yet the recent decision by the National Transport Authority (NTA) to reduce funding levels for major cycling projects in the Dublin region, is a negative statement by a state body, that flies in the face of the recommendations of the adopted National Physical Activity Plan. This NTA decision will set back cycling projects, and thus increased take-up of physical activity by individuals, due to the poor quality of present cycling infrastructure. It is a short term decision that will have immediate long term negative effects!

Cyclist.ie supports the call by Dr Donal O Shea for the introduction of a Sugar Tax, and for the funding and implementation of a range of measures to encourage active travel. The healthy future of Irish society is at stake.

 

Love 30 Campaign

The Love 30 Campaign favours a default speed limit of 30 km/h in urban areas, in residential estates, and in all areas of high pedestrian and cycle use. This includes residential streets and estates as well as the centres of cities, towns and villages and the areas surrounding schools. We believe there is a need for a paradigm shift in how road authorities manage traffic to enable pedestrians to use our roads and streets safely, to cater for the safety of the 8-80 age cohort while cycling and to allow our children to play outdoors and to walk to school, shops and friends & family. There is a need to protect the next generations, by ensuring that drivers understand their responsibilities fully, and that Councils put in place necessary speed limits to slow traffic. Road traffic planning and provision for many years has been for the benefit of the private motorist to the detriment of other road users including pedestrians, cyclists, public transport users, older and very young people and those with disabilities.

Full document

Link to Love30 on this site: see Organisations / Collaborative

Jake’s Legacy vigil

Cyclist.ie – The Irish Cycling Advocacy Network – strongly endorses Roseanne Brennan (Jake’s Legacy campaign) to force road authorities to introduce lower speed limits in residential areas and estates.

We want to see a quantum increase in the use of the bike for commuting to study, work and for utility purposes, recognising that a ‘critical mass’ of cyclists in traffic leads inevitably to safer streets. Safer streets for cyclists are also safer streets for pedestrians.
The urban default speed limit of 50 km/h means that any vehicle going at this speed has far too much kinetic energy so that a pedestrian or cyclist impacted by a car driven at this speed will have only a 50% chance of surviving the collision (see Road Safety Authority chart below).

Cyclist.ie remains far from impressed with the data revealed by the Road Safety Authority’s (RSA) annual free-speed surveys which show typically that some drivers actually exceed the 50 km/h speed limit with fully 9% detected breaking that limit in urban areas in 20111. We are disappointed that no data is available for each of the years 2012, 2013 and 2014.

We campaign for 30 km/h to become the default speed limit on residential and urban streets and in all areas of high pedestrian and cycle use. It is enabled by existing traffic law, so road authorities have no excuse for not implementing the reduction.

We accept that on some streets it may be appropriate to have a higher limit based on the road characteristics – good provision for vulnerable road users and risk assessment by use of road safety audits, etc. Retaining any limit above 30 km/h in residential areas and at the approaches to schools should be a considered and formal decision based on local circumstances.

We believe there is a need for a paradigm shift in how road authorities manage traffic, and plan urban change, so as to enable pedestrians to use our roads and streets safely and to cater for the safety of the 8-80 age cohort while cycling. This is directly in line with the latest Departmental guidelines as outlined in the Design Manual for Urban Roads & Streets (DMURS,2013), and will also encourage an increase in active travel by foot and on bikes. Road traffic planning and provision in recent years has been for the benefit of the private motorist to the detriment of other road users such as public transport, pedestrians and cyclists.

In addition to improving safety, lower speed limits in residential estates would encourage young people to move about independently and would encourage parents to permit their children to do so. This would have consequential benefits for their fitness and general health and would contribute to combating the rising levels of obesity in our society. The improved safety and perception of safety, provided by lower speed limits would transform residential estates into more vibrant living spaces, with consequential benefits for the quality of life of residents and visitors.

We recognise that reduction of the speed limit alone will not be successful in reducing speed and improving safety unless it is accompanied by improved Garda detection and enforcement and appropriate road design. We support the recommendations of DMURS, the official guidance policy for local authorities in relation to street design, that insofar as possible lower speed limits should be accompanied by psychological and physical measures to encourage observance.

Throughout Europe, 30 km/h is fast becoming the default urban speed limit. In some cities, speed limits as low as 10 km/h are in place in ‘home zones’. Even in the United States, where the car is king, 25 mph (40 km/h) limits are common in urban areas and 15 mph (24 km/h) limits are rigorously enforced at schools. In an effort to curb traffic fatalities, New York City lowered its default speed limit to 25 mph (40 km/h) from the 7th November 2014.

In the UK the “20’s Plenty” Campaign has been successful in securing reduced speed limits in many urban locations and has produced a Briefings page  with many documents showing the benefits of 20 mph (30 km/h) limits.

Lower speeds result in less noise and pollution and greater fuel efficiency (high fuel consumption is associated with stop-start traffic, not slow traffic). On residential roads and shopping streets, people simply don’t want to be exposed to the noise, fumes and dangers from higher speed traffic.

The Minister for Transport called on road authorities to review their urban speed limits in a Directive issued on 15 October last

Jake’s Legacy vigil

Cyclist.ie – The Irish Cycling Advocacy Network – strongly endorses Roseanne Brennan (Jake’s Legacy campaign) to force road authorities to introduce lower speed limits in residential areas and estates.

We want to see a quantum increase in the use of the bike for commuting to study, work and for utility purposes, recognising that a ‘critical mass’ of cyclists in traffic leads inevitably to safer streets. Safer streets for cyclists are also safer streets for pedestrians.

The urban default speed limit of 50 km/h means that any vehicle going at this speed has far too much kinetic energy so that a pedestrian or cyclist impacted by a car driven at this speed will have only a 50% chance of surviving the collision (see Road Safety Authority chart below).

Cyclist.ie remains far from impressed with the data revealed by the Road Safety Authority’s (RSA) annual free-speed surveys which show typically that some drivers actually exceed the 50 km/h speed limit with fully 9% detected breaking that limit in urban areas in 20111. We are disappointed that no data is available for each of the years 2012, 2013 and 2014.

We campaign for 30 km/h to become the default speed limit on residential and urban streets and in all areas of high pedestrian and cycle use. It is enabled by existing traffic law, so road authorities have no excuse for not implementing the reduction.

We accept that on some streets it may be appropriate to have a higher limit based on the road characteristics – good provision for vulnerable road users and risk assessment by use of road safety audits, etc. Retaining any limit above 30 km/h in residential areas and at the approaches to schools should be a considered and formal decision based on local circumstances.

We believe there is a need for a paradigm shift in how road authorities manage traffic, and plan urban change, so as to enable pedestrians to use our roads and streets safely and to cater for the safety of the 8-80 age cohort while cycling. This is directly in line with the latest Departmental guidelines as outlined in the Design Manual for Urban Roads & Streets (DMURS,2013), and will also encourage an increase in active travel by foot and on bikes. Road traffic planning and provision in recent years has been for the benefit of the private motorist to the detriment of other road users such as public transport, pedestrians and cyclists

In addition to improving safety, lower speed limits in residential estates would encourage young people to move about independently and would encourage parents to permit their children to do so. This would have consequential benefits for their fitness and general health and would contribute to combating the rising levels of obesity in our society. The improved safety and perception of safety, provided by lower speed limits would transform residential estates into more vibrant living spaces, with consequential benefits for the quality of life of residents and visitors.

We recognise that reduction of the speed limit alone will not be successful in reducing speed and improving safety unless it is accompanied by improved Garda detection and enforcement and appropriate road design. We support the recommendations of DMURS, the official guidance policy for local authorities in relation to street design, that insofar as possible lower speed limits should be accompanied by psychological and physical measures to encourage observance.

Throughout Europe, 30 km/h is fast becoming the default urban speed limit. In some cities, speed limits as low as 10 km/h are in place in ‘home zones’. Even in the United States, where the car is king, 25 mph (40 km/h) limits are common in urban areas and 15 mph (24 km/h) limits are rigorously enforced at schools. In an effort to curb traffic fatalities, New York City lowered its default speed limit to 25 mph (40 km/h) from the 7th November 2014.

In the UK the “20’s Plenty” Campaign has been successful in securing reduced speed limits in many urban locations and has produced a Briefings page with many documents showing the benefits of 20 mph (30 km/h) limits.

Lower speeds result in less noise and pollution and greater fuel efficiency (high fuel consumption is associated with stop-start traffic, not slow traffic). On residential roads and shopping streets, people simply don’t want to be exposed to the noise, fumes and dangers from higher speed traffic.

The Minister for Transport called on road authorities to review their urban speed limits in a Directive issued on 15 October last

DCC welcomes new contra-flow bus/cycle lane on Camden St – Richmond St corridor

On Wed 14th January at 11:00 h, Dublin City Council will open a new contra-flow bus/cycle lane on Camden Street Upper – Richmond Street, which will run past the ‘Bleeding Horse’ pub (i.e. south towards Rathmines).

Dublin Cycling Campaign has been working hard behind the scenes for many years to persuade Dublin City Council to provide a southbound contra-flow cycling facility on this corridor. The new traffic management arrangement also comes into being in the context of the Luas Cross City works on Dawson Street and, Suffolk Street. Dublin Cycling Campaign sits on the City’s ‘Cycle Forum’, where projects like this get progressed.

The now-soon-to-be-reconfigured “Bleeding Horse gyratory” was voted (among members) as one of Dublin’s 10 worst junctions in Dublin Cycling Campaign’s survey in recent years. The new contra-flow bus/cycle lane enables cyclists, heading south towards Rathmines, to avoid taking the annoying and very cycling-unfriendly and unsafe detour around by the Odeon pub and back onto Harcourt Road; instead they can now travel outbound directly (and legally) past the ‘Bleeding Horse’ pub towards Rathmines bridge. This represents important progress in making Dublin more cycle-able.

NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL BEST PRACTICE

The conversion of cyclist-unfriendly, multi-lane one-way streets and gyratories to streets with contra-flow cycling facilities and cycling friendly junctions is one policy objective of the National Cycle Policy Framework, the government’s overarching plan to increase the modal share for everyday cycling from its current national figure of approx 2% to 10% (which essentially means bringing the modal share of cycling in Dublin City from approx. 8% to 20-25% of trips). The provision of high quality contra-flow facilities for cyclists – and exemptions for cyclists on one-way streets with safer 30km/h speed limits – is also recognized internationally as a key intervention in making streets more attractive for urban cyclists.

However … while Dublin Cycling Campaign broadly welcomes the new traffic arrangements, we also think that the City Council did not go far enough in terms of providing for cyclists: the street network is still remarkably impermeable for cycling. For example, for cyclists traveling along the South Circular Road (Harrington Street section) towards Camden Street, they will still be required to turn left towards the city centre; the new traffic management arrangements:

  • do not enable cyclists to turn right onto the new contra-flow bus/cycle lane so as to continue southwards to Rathmines
  • do nothing to enable cyclists to continue directly onto Harcourt Road (so as to be able to turn right towards Ranelagh); Harcourt Road will remain as a one-way street.

Furthermore, Dublin Cycling Campaign has some concern about mixing so many buses with so many bikes on the corridor: it is essential that the drivers of the buses pay special attention to cyclists on this route – and, of course, essential that cyclists ride assertively and sensibly (by, for example, adopting the control road position while using the contra-flow lane). Overall though, we are optimistic that after everyone gets used to the new road layout, the new direct route out of town will improve life for those cycling in the city.

Finally, Dublin Cycling Campaign welcomes the provision of additional cycle parking along the newly configured route and a new special ‘right turn pocket’ to enable dublinbikes users to turn right onto Grantham Street to their docking station.

Call for co-ordinated plan to combat soaring bike theft

Photocall Invitation

Bicycle theft in Ireland has doubled in Ireland since the introduction of the Bike to Work scheme in 2009. Almost 4,500 bicycle thefts[1] were reported in Dublin in 2013, but the actual number of bike thefts is likely to be in the region of 20,000 in 2013 according to Irish household surveys[2] and international experience[3,4]. The chances of a bike thief being caught is low, with a conviction rate of only 2%[5] or reported thefts. Approximately 230,000 bicycles are imported into Ireland each year[6]. “Bike theft is a low-risk, high-reward crime. If cars were being stolen at this rate there would be uproar.” Says Keith Byrne, Chairperson of the Dublin Cycling Campaign. Continue reading Call for co-ordinated plan to combat soaring bike theft